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Training « From Fat to Triathlete
From Fat to Triathlete


This is Fun, Right?

January 8, 2010

F Minus for January 6, 2010

There are some days it just doesn’t feel like I’m having a good time.  Today was one of those days.  I couldn’t catch my breath, my knees ached, my ankles were sore, and mostly, I just didn’t feel like it!

On the schedule was a 4 mile run, in the log is a 2 mile walk/run.  I tried, I really did, but I just had a difficult time making my body (and my mind, for that matter) do what I knew I should be doing.  So I packed it in and came home early.

Now I’m sitting here trying to get motivated to do some work, and telling myself that something is better than nothing.  At least I got out there, got my heart rate up, burned some calories….did something! 

I am still tri-in (Although not very hard today!)

Gayle just read my post, and her comment was that I probably tried harder today because it’s easy when things are going good and you are feeling good.  When things are difficult and you don’t want to, but you do it anyway, you are working harder.  SO, my little quip about not working hard this morning is false.  Which makes me feel a lot better about my efforts today!  Gayle is a smart person, and I am blessed to have her advice and encouragement!


I am the Michelin Man

January 4, 2010
It is not supposed to be this cold in Wilmington, NC.  I don’t like reading that it is 30 degrees out.  I much prefer the 90-100 degree days!  I am counting down the days until summer.

Yesterday I went out to run and seriously underestimated the effect of the cold weather.  I wore my usual long pants and long sleeve shirt.  And it was not enough!  Wrigley and I gave up on the running after only a few minutes, did a quick stroll around the block and headed back inside where the hot coffee was waiting.  (I know, if we had kept running we would have warmed up quickly, but it was so cold, I just wanted to cry.)  This morning. I did a much better job at preparing…..which translates to layer upon layer upon layer.  After four layers of tops, three layers of bottoms, nice socks, gloves and a toboggan I was ready to brave the elements.  My friend said I probably looked like the Michelin Man

And we did much better.  After about 3/4 of a mile I was ready to lose the gloves, and before we were finished, the toboggan had to go too.  I felt much better about things.

 I read up on some tips about running in the cold, and I thought I’d share a few……most are common sense, but in this supposed to be warm climate, I usually don’t think of them.

  • layers – a wicking layer close to the skin, a windbreaking layer farthest out and, if needed a warm insulating layer in between is best
  • keep your head covered – most body heat is lost out the top of your body, so keeping a hat on keeps that heat in longer, and if it covers the ears…even better
  • make sure you stay hydrated – it might seem like drinking water is the last thing you want to do, but it is very important to keep from getting dehydrated
  • mittens are better than gloves  – let your fingers share the warmth with each other
  • it will hopefully never get this cold in Wilmington, but if you are in a colder climate, make sure you are close to warm shelter at all times during your run; a long 10 mile run away from civilization might sound nice, but could be very dangerous

With that last one in mind, never ever leave on a run without some form of identification.  A Road ID or just a dog tag with identifying and contact information on it can be a lifesaver.

Here is my schedule for the week, as the marathon in March is fast approching.

Monday – 4 miles

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – 4 miles

Thursday – crosstrain ~ 30 min (might pull out the bike)

Friday – 4 miles

Saturday – crosstrain ~ 30 min

Sunday – 6 miles


I have not been on a run since last Wednesday.  Instead, I’ve been coughing, blowing my nose and trying to breathe.  It’s a common occurance for me this time of year, the dreaded cold.  Usually knocks me out for a week or so.  But this year, since I’ve been doing more training and running, I feel like a total flake for skipping workouts.  Yesterday I tried to walk, made it a mile and then needed a nap.  I know there are some suggestions for working out in the midst of a cold, but I’m not sure what exactly they are, so I went to my trusty friend Google.

One article I read said that if your symptoms were all above the neck, it was ok to go ahead and exercise, but if you had a fever or symtoms below the neck – just stay on the couch.  It went on to say that even if you just have a head cold, be careful.  It didn’t take much for the cold to turn in to something more serious such as a sinus or bronchial infection.  And exercising with a sinus infection could lead to pneumonia or (in rare cases) respiratory failure. 

After further research, it seems that the advice given above is common to most exercising/health websites.  The final word on the subject seems to be that you should listen to your body.  If you just don’t feel up to it, don’t try.  All you will do is possible exacerbate the illness or at least prolong recovery.  With that said, I think I’ll head back to bed!


I don’t know who it was that started the myth that exercise will take care of those monthly cramps, but they were sadly mistaken.  When I was younger, my mother and other adult females (especially PE teachers and coaches) thought that the best remedy for knifing pains in the stomach was to go out and exercise. I don’t know about you, but it never worked for me.  And it’s my opinion that it never worked for them either, they just felt the need to punish the younger generation as they were punished by their mothers, teachers and coaches.  Well, if I ever have a daughter, I will break the cycle.  And you can hold me to that!  I will not try and torture her as I was tortured! 

All that to say that yesterday’s long run and today’s shorter run were completed, but completed in the midst of gut wrenching cramps. Other than that, I felt great!

I also want to give congratulations to those who participated in yesterday’s Ironman Arizona.  It is a great accomplishment!  Special congrats to the winners Jordan Rapp (8:13:35) and Samantha McGlone (9:09:19).  Both set course records!

DVR ALERT – NBC’s coverage of the 2009 Ironman World Championships will be shown on December 19th at 4:30 pm.  Make sure you watch it for some inspirational stories!

Here is my training schedule for the week.

Tuesday – 3 miles, easy

Wednesday – 3 miles with some speed play

Thursday – 3 miles, easy (then turkey!)

Friday – rest day

Saturday – cross training (not sure what I will do this day as we will be traveling home from Thanksgiving)

Sunday – 7 miles


36 Miles-What Keeps me Going

November 18, 2009

I have logged 36 miles since I really started training on November 1st.  That might not seem like a lot, but to me it’s amazing!  It’s difficult for me to stick to a training program day in and day out for a long time, but this seems easy now.  I can point to a few things that I think have helped me get started in my journey.

The first is the support of family and friends.  Gayle has been very supportive and she pushes me to keep going.  Wrigley is always ready to go for our morning runs and some days his questioning eager face is the only thing that gets me up and out the door. 

The second is this blog.  Knowing that I will be putting it all out there for others to see keeps me honest, and keeps me up and moving.  I can’t share that I’ve done nothing and feel good about it.  Feel free to leave comments or give me  nudge if I ever start slacking off.

The third thing that has kept me running for 36 miles is a goal.  I have some short term goals and long term goals.  The countdown to the Wrightsville Beach marathon that I see every time I sign on to the blog doesn’t hurt either.  It helps keep me focused.

Since I seem to be on a good track with my training and am having success, I am going to start researching and working on getting my eating and nutrition correct.  I think that the fuel my body takes in will go a long way to helping me lose weight, get faster, and meet my goals.  Be on the lookout for posts where I share what I am learning.

What are some things that keep you going?  I’d love to hear.

Still tri-in



Patience is a Virtue

November 17, 2009

I heard something the other day that I really needed to hear.  It was, and I’m paraphrasing, that you need to be patient in training.  You won’t just be great overnight.  It takes time and consistent effort to get better.  This is so hard for me.  I want to see results right away.  When I look at the clock and see that my pace is only a 17 or even 18 min/mile when I desperately want it to be at 15, 14 or even 13, it is very discouraging.  And then the thoughts start.  I will never get faster.  I should just give up because at this rate I will never finish a marathon or a long distance triathlon before the cut off.  I forget that just a month ago I couldn’t even run three miles.  And I was running at a 20 min/mile pace.  So, I am improving….even if it is slower than I’d like.  And giving up sure isn’t going to make me any faster at all.  I just need to consistently work at it.  And it will happen.

On a brighter note, Wrigley and I found a new fun place to run this morning.  On Gayle’s suggestion, we headed down the dirt road at the end of our development where they have begun clearing for a brand new development.  All that is there now is a bunch of dirt roads and trails.  We had a great time exploring them.  Saw some deer tracks and some unidentified “very large feet” tracks.  Since we’ve had a few days of rain, there were some puddles to slog through.  My shoes and pants are muddy and Wrigley’s feet and nose needed a good cleaning before he could come in the house, but it was well worth it.  I think we will continue to spend some time exploring other trails down that way on future runs.  Thanks Gayle!

Sometimes it’s good to blaze a new trail and run off the beaten path.  It can give you a new appreciation for nature.  Don’t forget to tell someone where you’ve gone and make sure you have a cell phone and some form of identification.  The Road ID is a great way to carry your ID without having to figure out where to put it.  You can also go to your local Army/Navy store and get a dog tag made very inexpensively.  It’s easy to just put on and forget about.

Have a great run, walk, bike or swim today!  In the meantime, I’m still tri-in



If you are anything like me, when you first start an exercise program and you are still excited about it, it’s sometimes hard to remember to rest.  You feel good, you are ready to get fit, things are all moving in a positive direction.  Why waste a day resting.  But resting is critical to your improvement.  How, you ask, can I gain fitness when all I do is walk a few minutes.  I should be running and sweating.

Well, it is just as important to rest as it is to run.  Resting gives your body time to recover and repair any damage caused by the work you have done.  My marathon training plan calls for two rest days a week.  One is the day before the scheduled long run to give my body a chance to prepare and be the best it can be.  The other rest day, for me, is on Monday.  Hopefully I have gotten in a long run and some cross training on Saturday and Sunday (it might vary which is which depending on what I have going on).

So, even though it seems counter productive, don’t forget to rest.  Your body will thank you.

In other exciting news, I have added a countdown timer to the marathon on March 21st.  As if I weren’t thinking about it enough, now I will know down to the minute how much time I have left to train.

Here is my training schedule for the upcoming week

Sunday:  2 mile run

Monday: rest day

Tuesday: 3 mile run

Wednesday: 3 mile run

Thursday: 3 mile run

Friday: rest day

Saturday: 6 mile run

You can now subscribe to my podcast on iTunes.  Just click the microphone on the right and it will set you up.  Thanks for listening.

Still tri-in


I made it out in the cold today for a short 2 mile run.  I was able to practice some speed work, getting my heart rate up and even sweating some.  The other day, during Wilmington’s welcoming of Tropical Storm Ida, I stayed bundled up in the house.  I just couldn’t bring myself to run in the downpour. 

I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s race reports following the Beach2Battleship.  It seems like you all had a great time, even if you were participating in a iron distance triathlon.  It just adds to my excitement to participate myself in 2 years.

Hope you enjoy my new podcast.  Thanks to Gayle, it is now available on iTunes.  Head over and subscribe so you won’t miss an episode.  In this episode I talk about the Beach2Battleship triathlon, my marathon plans, and a new calf stretch I discovered after Thursday’s run with achilles pain.


Have a great day!

Still tri-in’



Beach2Battleship Triathlon

November 9, 2009

This weekend we were able to volunteer at the 2nd annual Beach2Battleship Triathlon here in Wilmington.  The tri has both a half and a full Ironman distance race.  If you ever get the chance to volunteer at any race of any distance, I would highly reccommend it!  The athletes are so inspiring and they are working so hard.  And I know from racing that the little bit of encouragement received from the volunteers is always appreciated and sometimes desperately needed.  It’s also a great way to see just how things work. You can watch the participants and pick up tips on things they are doing that you might not have even thought of.  And you can see things that you thought would work that seem to bomb.

All in all, we had a great day directing cyclists, watching finishers, and cheering for all!  Congratulations to everyone that finished both the half iron and full iron distance!  Next year I will be among the half ironman finishers.  We were even able to pick up 4 participants leaving the battleship and give them and their bikes a ride to their hotel in Wrightsville Beach.  They did not need to try and get across town after finishing a half ironman!  We really enjoyed talking with them and getting to know them a bit during the 30 minute drive.

Speaking of next year, I am still training.  Saturday was a scheduled rest day so Wrigley and I walked 2 miles in the morning.  Sunday we ran 3 miles disappointingly slow.  My average for each mile was 19:29.  And boy was I consistant, the first mile was 19:28, the second was 19:30 and the final mile was 19:29. 

Today we ran 2 miles and the pace was a bit better, an average of 18:45 min/mile.

I do have sort of a goal change for the next 5 months.  On Friday we were at Bike Cycles, a local bike shop, picking up our volunteer t-shirts and I noticed a flier for the inagural Wrightsville Beach marathon to be held in March of 2010.  Well, I decided if I’m going to train, I might as well run a marathon!  So, I found an 18 week marathon training plan online and counted 19 weeks until the marathon and figured it was fate!

With all that said, here is my training plan for the rest of the week.

Tuesday (11/10) 3 mile run with speed work

Wednesday (11/11) rest day

Thursday (11/12) 6 mile run

Friday (11/13) 2 mile run

Saturday (11/14) rest day

The six miles on Thursday kind of scares me, but I’ll make it through.  I’ll let you know how it goes…..

Still Tri-ing!


In this podcast I talk about using fartlek training to increase my speed, and also mention the benefits of training using perceived exertion instead of a heart rate monitor.  Both things are great additions to your training without having to spend money or drive somewhere to get it done.

In my 3 miles this morning I was very please with the addition of the speed training.  First, it showed me that I can run faster. I’m not really stuck at the same slow pace even though sometimes it feels like I am.  Here are my times for today.

Distance: 3 miles

Total Time: 55:25

Mile 1: 18:48

Mile 2: 18:40 minutes

Mile 3: 17:56 minutes

Average Pace: 18:28

My average is almost a minute faster than a few days ago.  I think I have the speed in me, at least some of it, but for whatever reason have just been plodding along.  Now I know I can bring it up a notch and be successful!


Hope you enjoy the podcast, it will be the first of many along my journey

Still tri-ing

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